Chris Wilder admitted being overtaken by emotion after watching his Sheffield United team move to within three points of securing promotion.
Wilder raced on to the pitch to celebrate John Fleck’s second-half goal during the 2-0 victory over Coventry City following Leon Clarke’s earlier strike.
The result ensured United remained 13 points clear of third-placed Fleetwood Town with five matches remaining and knowing that a win at Northampton Town will guarantee Championship football next term.
Wilder, explaining his manic response to Fleck’s effort, said: “I wear my heart on my sleeve, I always have done. I stood out here, when we were 3-0 down after 20 minutes (against Southend) in August, and I didn’t run back into the dressing room. I stood out there on the touchline. That’s how I manage and my players take things on the chin.
“I grazed mine sliding across the pitch,” Wilder joked, “But which one of them I don’t know.”
United struggled to break City’s stubborn resistance despite dominating possession before the break. But first Clarke, whose season has been hijacked by injury, and then Fleck catapuled the hosts to their sixth win in eight outings.
Wilder, explaining why he has kept faith with Clarke despite his long absences, said: “Sometimes you have periods where you just can’t get going. It’s been a complete stop start season for him. All the boys were delighted for Leon and his attitude has been first class. Hopefully that will be good for him and good for the team because he’s a big player for us.”
Fleck, who like Clarke is a former City player, later edged United a step closer to a return to the second-tier with a splendid solo effort and Wilder added: “I thought we didn’t get going first-half. I thought we played safe, negative football. I don’t think we hid. That wasn’t the case. I just told the lads to be a little bit more positive and braver with the ball. They did and it was epitomised by Flecky’s goal. But it was a terrible celebration.”